The purpose of this study was to assess the associations between panic disorder (PD) and health services use, health-related quality of life, and use of short-acting β2-agonists among individuals with asthma. We studied 21 adults with comorbid asthma and panic disorder (asthma-PD) and 27 asthma patients without PD (asthma-only). Participants attended a single session at a laboratory to complete the study. A retrospective chart review was conducted to assess use of health care resources for asthma treatment during the past 12 months. Patients completed the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire and lung function testing. Asthma-only and asthma-PD patients displayed no differences on asthma severity, as measured by spirometry and asthma medication class. Asthma-PD patients had more visits to their primary care physicians for asthma (p < 0.01) and reported a lower quality of life related to asthma (p < 0.01) and greater use of short-acting β2-agonists (p < 0.05) than asthma-only patients. These findings were independent of pulmonary function, asthma medication class, and sociodemographic status. These data show that coexistence of PD in asthma is associated with increased use of primary care health resources and greater perceived impairment from asthma, independent of asthma severity. These findings indicate a need to develop interventions to improve quality of life and self-management of asthma among PD patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was supported by Grant No. R21MH58196, 1RO1HL58805-01A1, 2T32MHO19927-11 and 1F31MH12846-01 from the National Institutes of Health. This work was completed as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University, by the first author. The authors are indebted to Dr. William Sanderson for his clinical training and supervision; to Elizabeth Zuhr for coding of health care use data; to Linda Kranitz for assistance in obtaining subjects’ medical records; to Dr. Erich Labouvie for statistical advice; to Dr. Stuart Hochron, Dr. Anthony Scardella, Dr. Gail Shapiro, Dr. Kenneth Steinberg, and Grace White for assistance with recruitment of subjects.
- Health care-seeking behavior
- Panic disorder
- Quality of life